National / International News

VIDEO: Three killed in clashes at Ukraine base

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 03:04
Three people were killed in a raid on a base in eastern Ukraine overnight, the country's interior minister says, as the US, Russia, the EU and Ukraine begin crisis talks in Geneva.

The level crossing wars

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 03:01
The battle over Britain's level crossings

333 new call centre jobs for Derry

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 02:58
More than 300 call centre jobs are to be created in Londonderry as a result of an investment by an American corporation.

No Sign Yet Of Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Disaster

NPR News - Thu, 2014-04-17 02:55

Divers are having difficulty getting into the capsized ship. It was sailing to a resort island Wednesday when it capsized. Most of the passengers were high school students on a school trip.

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Harrowing text messages as ferry sank

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 02:53
As ferry sank, students sent parents harrowing text messages

VIDEO: Lighting the way and more arts stories

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 02:45
A giant light installation in an old gas storage tank in Germany, works by French sculptor Auguste Rodin and US photographer Robert Mapplethorpe side by side in Paris - and more from the world of arts.

Clarity urged on home admissions

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 02:35
Stormont Health Minister Edwin Poots is urged to clarify if the admissions policy on NHS care homes will be changed, following a reprieve for 18 facilities.

How "public" is Weibo?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-04-17 02:28

Despite being one of China’s most-visited websites, and analysts are watching to see if Weibo closes way low. That’s because of users like Lixin Huang.  He’s one of 130-million active users the website claims as its customer base. But he’s not exactly what you’d call “active.” 

“I used it sometime last year when my friends were using it,” he says. Huang, a finance professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta, now uses WeChat.  It’s growing at three times the rate of Weibo.

That’s one reason Huang is skeptical  about today’s NASDAQ debut. Another big reason? Censorship. China’s government bans everything from sexual innuendo to political dissent on the Internet.  

“Censorship has already caused a chilling effect,” says Jason Ng, who wrote the book, Blocked on Weibo.  He says China’s crackdown on that type of chatter means the site’s not as much fun as when it debuted. 

Even so, Ng says it’s still the go-to place for China’s nationwide conversation. “Obviously investors recognize the value of having that sort of space.”

A bill of health for insurance companies

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-04-17 02:26

Big insurance companies report quarterly earnings over the next two weeks, starting with United Healthcare today.

Thanks to new customers brought in by the Affordable Care Act, 2013 was a good year for health insurance companies.  The extended deadlines, which ended just this week, may provide more good news:   More enrollment, more premiums, more revenue.  Now comes the hard part. 

For one thing, new customers means new costs, in the form of claims, says Joel Shalowitz, a professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.  Insurers don't yet know the extent of those costs.

"For people who needed services provided, the insurer is not going to see the claims for another month or two," says Shalowitz. "The revenue has come in, but the expense has not yet been realized."  

Those new customers also came with new restrictions on insurance companies, says Morningstar analyst Vishnu Lekraj. "They’re restricted as far as profitability, and overall there’s more competition in the market, there’s more transparency, there’s more regulation," he says. "I do still see some tough headwinds for the industry and for most of the players."

At best, Lekraj thinks the strongest companies will see flat profits for years to come.

Birds of prey deaths increase to 20

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 02:09
The discovery of another buzzard's body brings the number of birds of prey found dead in Ross-shire to 20.

Busy roads warning ahead of Easter

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 02:08
Motorists are braced for what is set to be the busiest day of the year on the roads so far, with up to 16m cars expected to be used over Easter.

UK housing market 'shows resilience'

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 02:05
The "resilient" UK housing market recorded another increase in mortgage lending in March, according to a lenders' group.

AUDIO: Google 'not meeting expectations'

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 02:01
Larry Magid, technology analyst for CNET, discusses the fall in Google's shares.

Lorry driver held over M26 crash

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 01:59
A lorry driver is arrested following a five-vehicle pile up on the M26 in Kent in which two people died and seven others were injured.

Deadly clashes at Ukraine port base

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 01:58
Three people are killed in a raid on a base in eastern Ukraine, the country's interior minister says, as the US, Russia, the EU and Ukraine hold crisis talks in Geneva.

Women held in school fraud inquiry

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 01:50
Four women are arrested in connection with an on-going fraud investigation at a Birmingham school.

Earthquake shakes East Midlands

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 01:40
A 3.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the East Midlands is being investigated by geological experts.

VIDEO: Speedy bird remains on the run

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 01:39
A large bird that looks similar to an ostrich and can run at a speed of up to 40mph is on the loose in the Home Counties after it inexplicably escaped from a field.

Bale targets Real Madrid treble

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 01:39
Gareth Bale wants to win the treble with Real Madrid after scoring a "really special" winner in the Copa del Rey final.

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